Lifting Operations & Lifting Equipment 1998


The LOLER Regulations came into effect on the 5th December 1998 and replace all previous Lifting Equipment Legislation. LOLER extends to additional types of lifting equipment that was not previously covered by Regulation and applies to every situation where machinery is used in a work environment.

LOLER allows choices for a "Competent Person" where there is more than a trivial risk to injury in the event of equipment failure.

  • Thorough Examination at intervals set as prescribed in an examination scheme.


  • Six monthly Thorough Examination of lifting equipment involving lifting persons and lifting accessories and twelve monthly Thorough Examination for all other lifting equipment.
  • Thorough Examination is mandatory following an incident affecting the safety of the lifting equipment, known as "exceptional circumstances".

HSB is recognised as being able to provide the "Competent Person" in order to carry out the required thorough examinations.

The LOLER Regulations apply to all lifting equipment used at work and its attachments (including those used for anchoring, fixing or supporting it) and takes into account:

  • Management of lifting operations
  • Use of lifting equipment in various circumstances

No distinction is made between equipment which is owned or leased or which is new or existing.

It should be noted that owners of lifting plant in other than work situations have a general duty of care to the public, under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and are required to carry out (or have carried out) inspections to ensure the safety of the equipment.

The HSB Service

All our Engineer Surveyors are trained to meet the demand of the regulations in respect of Thorough Examination and are working with clients to help them ensure they comply and meet their obligations.

Following is a brief schedule of plant, which clarifies some of the main changes, brought about by the LOLER Regulations, together with clarification of how the regulations affect Agriculture.

Also recommended reading, available from any H.M. Stationary office, is the HSE Approved code of Practice and Guidance Booklet "Safe Use of Lifting Equipment".

Since the Regulations were first introduced, the HSE has recognised that certain types of plant are now considered to be lifting equipment under LOLER. These are listed below. In addition, there has been HSE approved Guidance for the Thorough Examination of Tower Cranes and proposed legislation covering the Registration of Tower Cranes, new guidance on Lifting Operations in Construction when using Excavators and revised guidance for Lift Owners on the Thorough Examination and testing of Lifts.


Plant Included Plant Excluded
Vacuum Lifting Plant Escalators (subject to workplace regulations)
Vehicle Inspection Hoists Conveyor Belts (not inclined)
Pallet Trucks Horizontal Winch
Hydraulic Handlers - Agricultural Wheel Barrows and Crow Bars
Hydraulic Handlers - Industrial Items Suspended
Climbing Ropes (work situations only) Instances Where There is No Risk if the Load Falls
Bath Hoists (nursing homes) Tractor Linkages
Computer Controlled Rack Retrieval Systems
Paper Roll Hoists
Refuse Vehicles
Air Cargo Transfer Vehicles
Vehicle Recovery Equipment/Lorry Loading Cranes
Tail Lifts

Plant Subsequently Included

Car Transporters
Piling Rigs

How the Regulations Effect Agriculture

Thorough examination of tractor foreloaders may not be necessary, in some circumstances, a regular check of a foreloader's hydraulic hoses and mounting points for attachments should be part of normal safe operation and maintenance.

Also inpractice they are often used in conjunction with slings for lifting and at harvest time manual packaging of bales often takes place under the front loader.

As such thorough examination is recommended bearing in mind also the Regulations state work equipment and working practices should be assesed for the risks involved and balanced decision made with regard to thorough examination based on individual circumstances.

Thorough examination is to protect both operators and people in the vicinity of lifting operations who may be at risk if lifting equipment suddenly fails.

Working to the above criteria, lifting equipment such as:

  • foreloaders on tractors without adequate operator protection and any lifting equipment where other people are working in the close vicinity will need thorough examination.
  • foreloaders on tractors with safety cabs and telescopic loaders where no other people are working in the vicinity will not normally need thorough examination.